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GLOSSARY of Printed Circuits

by John Walt Childers, IPC-CID, Founder of Golden Gate Graphics

   SYMBOLS    A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z   

Pronunciation Key

Formerly known as

GLOSSARY of Printed Circuit Design and Manufacturing

This glossary has key terminology in use in PCB design and manufacturing, with a smattering of electronics. The definitions were chosen so that their context would likely apply to reading material encountered by a PCB designer. Therefore, many of these terms will have other meanings not given here. See recommended dictionaries below.

This collection of terms came about as I, a PCB designer, ran across words and acronyms in my field for which meanings were hard to find. As I tracked them down, I made them part of this glossary. If you are a PCB designer, then this glossary could be a good place to start when you find a need to look up the meanings of words related to printed circuits or electronics.

TOP       J

Index to terms on this page:

JEDEC   JEITA   JEP95   JIC   jitter   J-lead   JSON   JTAG  

JEDEC — Joint Electron Device Engineering Council Solid State Technology Association, formerly known as Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) or Joint Electron Device Engineering Councils, is an independent semiconductor engineering trade organization and standardization body of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), a trade association that represents all areas of the electronics industry in the United States. JEDEC was founded in 1958 as a joint activity between EIA and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to develop standards for semiconductor devices. JEDEC has over 300 members, including some of the world's largest computer companies. Headquarters: 3103 North 10th Street, Arlington, VA 22201

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JEITA — Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association is a Japanese trade organization for the electronics and IT industries. It was formed in 2000 from two earlier organizations, the Electronic Industries Association of Japan and the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association.

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JEP95 — JEDEC Registered and Standard Outlines for Solid State and Related Products, is a compilation of some 3000 pages of outline drawings for microelectronic packages including transistors, diodes, DIPS, chip carriers, sockets, and package interface BGA outlines in both inch and metric versions. There are over 500 registrations in all.

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JIC — - Just In Case. (of a circuit element) Provided as an option in case it is needed in the future. "JIC" can be added to the netname or net label.

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jitter — Instability of a signal in either its amplitude or its phase or both. [Graf, Rudolf F. Modern Dictionary of Electronics. Newnes, 1999]

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J-lead — (JAY-leed)  Pronunciation Key  noun  [Components] A narrow, flat lead that extends from the edge of a surface mount device (SMD) and curls under the body of the component, resembling in profile a letter J. The curved portion of the J is down and is the solder contact point. (Contrast with gull wing.)

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JSON — (computer languages) Initialism of JavaScript Object Notation, a data format used to represent structured data. It is based on JavaScript syntax. It is often referred to as JSON schema. Coordinate terms: XML, YAML

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JTAG — Joint Test Action Group (developer of IEEE Standard 1149.1-1990) [pronounced "JAY-tag"]

  1. A standard specifying how to control and monitor the pins of compliant devices on a printed circuit board.
    Each device has four JTAG control lines. There is a common reset (TRST) and clock (TCLK). The data line daisy chains one device's TDO pin (data output) to the TDI (data input) pin on the next device.
    The protocol contains commands to read and set the values of the pins (and optionally internal registers) of devices. This is called "boundary scanning." The protocol makes board testing easier as signals that are not visible at the board connector may be read and set.
    The protocol also allows the testing of equipment, connected to the JTAG port, to identify components on the board (by reading the device identification register) and to control and monitor the device's outputs.
    JTAG is not used during normal operation of a board. Cited works:
    For more information see Boundary Scan Tutorial
  2. JTAG port
  3. JTAG connector, the physical connector portion of the JTAG port 4)(in a PCB database) a decal representation of the JTAG header, of which there is only one on any one PCB.

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Alphabetizing Method

Terms that begin with a symbol or a digit are placed in the SYMBOLS page. Terms that contain digits within them are alphabetized as if the numeric characters were spelled in English.

Terms with two or more words are alphabetized "dictionary style." They are alphabetized as though the spaces between the terms have been removed.
   If there are other characters in the term, such as a slash (/), dash (-) or plus sign (+), these are treated the same as spaces and ignored for the purpose of alphabetizing.

Example Printed Boards

Click for Examples of PCBs designed by Golden Gate Graphics

References and Dictionaries

Modern Dictionary of Electronics by Rudolf F. Graf

This is the best, most usable dictionary for electronics, because its definitions help you grasp the terms and therefore the subject. Lesser dictionaries define electronics terms with even more difficult technical jargon, leading one into endless"word chains." Not this one.
You can buy the Modern Dictionary of Electronics new or used via the Internet.

Graf, Rudolf F. Modern Dictionary of Electronics. Newnes, 1999.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, 2nd Edition

You need a big, comprehensive dictionary. Get this one. Despite being a big dictionary, The Random House has great definitions, quick to grasp.

Although out of print, as of 2022 you could still buy a great used copy online for $40 including shipping or possibly for much less. Two versions are available of the 2nd Edition, Unabridged:

I have no idea what the difference is for the deluxe edition, but there seem to be fewer copies of it available in 2020 than the regular edition. I'm sure they both have the same set of definitions. My copy has both ISBNs listed in the front matter, and it is the regular edition.

Flexner, Stuart Berg, and Leonore Crary Hauck, editors. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language. Unabridged, 2nd Edition, Random House, 1987.

Golden Gate Graphics in an official Altium Service Bureau
Golden Gate Graphics is an official Altium Service Bureau